Mars: It is impossible for scientists of Curiosity mission to miss this pile of debris

Mars: It is impossible for scientists of Curiosity mission to miss this pile of debris

On Mars, Curiosity continues its relentless climb up Mount Sharp. However, the rover made a mandatory stop to study the Geddes Wallis Ridge, a geological formation resulting from a debris flow that occurred 3 billion years ago.

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Rover on August 14 CuriosityCuriosity He was completing a climb up one of the steepest slopes encountered during the exploration of Mars. It also took three years for scientists to find the best access route so the rover could finally reach the Geddes Wallis Ridge. There is no question of missing this stop in the climb of Mount Sharp, which Curiosity began almost 10 years ago. Because this pile of blocks and rocky debris represents a major interest for understanding the hydrological evolution of Mars.

A unique opportunity to view the cliffs from the summit of Mount Sharp

These are actually the deposits we call MakeMake The torrential storm that occurred during one of the last humid periods on the Red Planet, about 3 billion years ago. This phenomenon is common on Earth, and affects mountainous environments during heavy rains. you have to have an imagination edgeedge Catastrophic mud stones, sometimes large in size, roll down the slopes at very high speeds. The study of these blocks is therefore a unique opportunity to observe rocks coming from very high levels on the slopes of Mount Sharp. Levels that Curiosity will almost certainly never reach. Furthermore, the principle of superposition in stratigraphy states that the strata located on top of a sedimentary pile are always the youngest (except in a tectonic event). The Geddes Wallis Ridge may therefore represent a time capsule that provides access to Mount Sharp’s most recent past. Therefore, it is impossible to miss it.

The Curiosity rover on Mars approaches Geddes Wallis Ridge (360° view). © NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

An impressive panorama captured by Curiosity

So the rover stayed for eleven days analyzing the deposits of Geddes Wallis Ridge. Using their Mastcam, they took a series of photos grouped together to create a 360° panorama, which can be seen in this interactive video above.

If the data obtained is now in the hands of scientists, the rover has already resumed its journey. Their next objective: to follow the debris flow channel to better understand how this catastrophic event occurred.





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